Posts Tagged 'cooking'

it’s not broken, just unmeasured

I guess I should have started a cooking blog or something.

Well, let me clarify:  one of those ones where all the things that aren’t supposed to happen…happen. I’m not someone you should ever take lessons from when it comes to the kitchen and events that are logically expected to occur there without incident  (exhibit a, b…I’m sure there are more). Things go very unplanned and off course and not measured in my kitchen. 

Granted that’s not always a bad thing.

“How much XYZ spices did you put in here? It’s really good!”

I have no idea?

Annnnnd there goes another amazing recipe unrealized and never to be exactly replicated because I don’t measure. I mean I guess I am pretty okay at cooking things. I can whip up dinner no problem these days.

Really it’s the baking where things go wrong.

Probably because I don’t measure. Damn that baking powder blowing up my cookies to the size of muffin tops or damn the whatever it is that happens when they end up so flat the chocolate chips are like giant mountains over a prairie terrain.

Chemistry. Mocks me every time. 

But measuring….measuring is such. a. pain. It means I have to actually get those little spoons out and find the right one and then two different things need the same amount but now that particular sized spoon is dirty and those spoons really are the worst dish ever to maybe cookie sheets because I’ll be damned if I somehow don’t turn the pan the wrong way and water either gets all over me or all over the counter.

I’m all about less dishes. Save the water. Avoid a mess. Whatever. Just no measuring. I guesstimate. Eyeball it. That pile I poured looks like abooouuut tablespoon. We’re good. Moving on.

Also about those spoons I don’t even like? I think we have five different sets. It’s probably so I didn’t have to wash a set in the middle of a project. But then that means there are multiple sets to man handle later and so really nobody wins.

And oh the irony….we BOTH still prefer to use the original set.

Anyway, so funny enough, the other day we were making tacos and I had taken out all of the spices and was putting them in the pan with the ground turkey (none of that packaged seasoning stuff here…making your own is so much better!) and I looked at Tim and said, “I don’t measure, just so you know.”

He just kind of nodded his head all Oh-I-know-and-there-is-no-sense-in-explaining-the-reasons-why-we-measure-because-it-falls-on-deaf-ears-I’ve-learned-to-pick-my-battles-and-this-is-one-I’ll-never-win-I’ll-be-over-here-saving-my-sanity-and-preparing-myself-to-choke-it-down-thankyouverymuch.

I continued about my extremely scientific ways, i.e. Eyeballing, and no one really says anything more about it until we sit down to eat. 

And then it happens. 

After Tim takes a bite, he is all, totally unprompted, “These are honestly the best tacos ever. The flavor of the meat is AH-MAZING.

Excellent to hear, dear husband.

She Who Does Not Measure will just be over here, doing what she does, damn all the spoons.

kitchen masochism

I can’t cook.  There really isn’t much more to add to that.

Some of the proof of combining “can’t” and “cook” in the same sentence is here, here and here, just to show you that I’m not exaggerating.  I am less than sub-par in the kitchen.  I shouldn’t even be allowed in the kitchen.

I’m mostly convinced our little sprout will eventually be fending for themselves, foraging through the fridge, making butter sandwiches and filling cups with shredded cheese for a snack.  Because, really, let’s be honest, here. Both of those options will probably taste better than any of my concoctions.

Thing is, my inability to successfully make a recipe without, at minimum, seven separate fiascos taking place between step one and giving up doesn’t seem to stop me from trying. Again and again and again.  Isn’t that the definition of stupidity? Doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result?

(raises hand) That’s me.

I think the reason I continue to practice kitchen masochism is because I have some deep seeded desire to blossom into Martha Stewart or The Pioneer Woman or Betty Crocker (she was real, right?). *I* want to be the chick with all the super delicious recipes who always turns out magazine-perfect dishes that taste like heaven on a fork.  I don’t want to continue to be the girl who can barely make macaroni and cheese without burning down the house.  Did I mention that one time I thought I turned on a burner on the stove and then forgot about it?  Well…turns out I only managed to turn on the gas.  No flame.  I basically turned our house into a ticking time bomb.



Something happened to me the other day.

The kitchen gods threw me a bone.  And they NEVER throw bones.

Tim was working late, so I offered to bring dinner up to his work where we’d have a form of a picnic…in his office.  Then again, I don’t know if it even qualifies as a picnic if you aren’t eating outside…

Anyhow, instead of doing the easy thing and picking up something on the way, I decided to MAKE dinner.  Make the picnic special or something.  I have no idea.

Again, with the poor decisions.

I decided to keep it simple.  Pasta salad.  That’s easy, right?  It’s just a bunch of things thrown together in a bowl and mixed around. How hard can that be, really?  I found a recipe and then – and this is probably why I run into problems in the kitchen – I decided to modify it.  I didn’t like the vegetables they selected.  I wanted to add cheese.  I wanted grilled chicken.

So, off I went.  Dicing veggies and cooking chicken and boiling water for the pasta.

When all was said and done, I was pretty proud of my creation.  It looked colorful and happy!  It tasted….(really?) good. IT TASTED LIKE FOOD!  This was huge for me. HUGE.

I made something edible.

When I arrived at Tim’s work, we busted out the goods and began eating.  The first mumbled words out of Tim’s mouth?

“Mmmm…This is really good!”

Me: You like it?!  Really??  Wait…really?!….

Tim: It’s delicious!  Where’d you get it from?

Me: Wait. What?  Where’d I get it from?

Tim: Yah.  It looks store bought…

Me: You think it looks store bought?!

Tim, eyes wide, questioning his decision to say that: Yes….?  And (husband catch-all, thrown in for good measure) it tastes really great, too…?

Me, bouncing up and down in my chair: You think it looks store bought!!!!

Tim, utterly confused at my behavior: Isn’t it?…

Me: No! I. MADE. IT.  I. MADE. IT!!!

(fist pump. twirly happy dance)

That right there?

Only the single best compliment anyone has ever given me on my cooking.

Now…if only I could figure out how to repeat that performance with something more complicated.  Like Baked Alaska.  Or am I jumping too many steps ahead of myself? Something is telling me that I’m missing a step or eleventythousand. What should come after pasta salad and before Baked Alaska.  Maybe a casserole?


I didn’t take any pictures of this pasta salad because, well, who knew I would make something that looked like it was made by someone who knew what they were doing?!  However, here is what I did if you want to concoct your own:

half bag wacky mac noodles (or other macaroni style), cooked and drained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 english cucumber, chopped

3 green onions, sliced into thin circles

1/2-1 cup cooked chicken breast (salted and peppered only, cooked in olive oil), cubed

1 ball fresh mozzarella, cubed

1 6oz can sliced black olives, drained

1/4 cup italian style dressing

Throw it all into a bowl, mix it around (make sure not to over-dress), cover and set in refrigerator until you’re ready to eat!

dear patience: i hate you

I never paint my nails in the house.

It’s not because I don’t want to. It’s just…

I’m not allowed to anymore because the last time I got nail polish on the bed…and on Tim’s shirt my shirt (his t-shirts…THE BEST. And I steal them)…on the counter…on the bathtub.  Hell if I know how any of that happened…same as I said to Tim when he was all, “THE HELL, WOMAN? Why is there a pink heart-shaped splotch on my sink?!”

I refuse to cut paper if a straight line is required.

I don’t like to wait for anything to pre-heat. I just throw it in there all, “it’ll cook eventually.”

Same goes with things “cooling off.”

Which results in disasters like this:

cake disaster 2

And “this” was a lemon cake that was supposed to probably be like…three inches higher and all in one piece. The top layer isn’t even attached in some places. 

My first mistake was tinkering with the recipe. TWO eggs? We don’t need all that extra cholesterol, hell, let’s try one egg plus lots of applesauce. Oil? Nah. More applesauce. Then, while it was busy doing its baking thing, I opened the oven around 50 times to check its progress and poked it about 300 times with a toothpick.  Once I decided it was done baking…

Let me stop right there…and answer the question I’m sure you’ll ask yourself: Why didn’t she use a timer? Yah…well, we do actually have one. I’m just not allowed to use that, either. Last time I tried to time something on the oven timer thingy, I managed to explode the circuit for the entire left side of the house. Ok, so maybe it didn’t explode exactly, but I had to sit in the dark with no TV or internet until Tim came home.  And the whole “look at the clock when you put it in the oven” is lost to me. I mean, sure, I’ll look.

But will I remember?

No. I won’t.

I’ll forget I was even cooking until Tim races into the kitchen and is all, “Why in the hell is there smoke coming from the oven?”  True story.

So, anyway, back to my cake: When I took it out of the oven, I carried it immediately to the counter and flipped the bundt pan thing right over onto a wire rack. I then proceeded to beat the bottom of the pan with oven mits, hoping that would help it come out all nice and pretty, like on the box.

It didn’t.

I was pissed all, “THE HELL, CAKE? You’re supposed to COME OUT IN ONE PIECE AND STAY TOGETHER.”

Then I read the directions: “Allow to cool at least 15 minutes”

Well, fuckitty fuck fuck.

Someone needs to invent directions for us non-patient people.

Something like: “Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before even considering flipping the pan over, dumbass. Did you hear me? I said FIFTEEN MINUTES, DUMBASS.”

Then, I might actually pay attention.

Instead, I get distracted admiring the pretty picture on the front of the box all, “It’s going to look like THAT? Really? Even though I don’t have chocolate shavings or a unicorn shaped pan? Awesome.”

Anyway, lemon rock cake is what I should have called it. Last night, after Tim took a bite of my failed attempt at dessert, I was all, “So, what do you think? You like it, right?”

He looked at me, bewildered, “What flavor is this, again?

Me: Vanilla. Well, vanilla and lemon….actually, it’s vanilla, lemon and apple.

Tim: That…tastes about right.

Me: So, you like it, right?

Tim: mmmmm…so…good…and…dense”

Me: I thought you liked dense cake?

Tim: “Yah….sure do…”

He really shouldn’t try to pull one over on me. I can see through the bullshit like I can a damn glass window.

(Actually, come to think of it, aren’t all windows are made of glass…or that clear plastic stuff like on airplanes?…an example on why proof-reading is kind of important)

Back to the rock cake: Tim’s eyes were screaming all, “This. Is. Revolting. I’m totally going to regurgitate the contents of my stomach after you fall asleep.”

Don’t think I didn’t hear the toilet in the guest bathroom flush about fifty times in succession.

Oh, and remember this one? cake disaster 2

Why do I continue to torture myself?

this is where you ask those burning questions

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